Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Latest Statements


Toggle

Sinn Féin Environment spokesperson David Cullinane TD has announced that he will bring forward legislation next week that will kickstart the process of bringing waste management back under the control of local authorities.

Speaking today Teachta Cullinane said;

“The privatisation of domestic waste collection has not served us well.

“The high cost of bills is a real financial worry for many families.

“The level of recycling has also stagnated. 

“This is on top of multiple waste firms serving the same housing estates, causing unnecessary disruption with no real competition on price.

“We need to bring waste management back under local control, and to get there we first need to regulate the sector.

“Next week I will introduce a bill that will kickstart this process.

“We need an independent waste management regulator with the authority to licence waste firms, to set prices, and to enforce its decisions where necessary through fines or sanctions or both.

“My bill will compel the Minister to outline a pathway towards the creation of that office.”

Toggle

Speaking in response to comments made today by Julian Smith, British Secretary of State to the North, Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill MLA said:

"Sinn Féin stand ready and committed to restoring the Assembly.

"But any restoration must ensure the Assembly is sustainable, credible and has the confidence of the public.

"The key to any agreement is resolving the outstanding issues which lie at the heart of the talks.

"Sinn Féin stands ready to re-enter talks in the coming weeks and will work with all parties and both governments to reach a fair agreement.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin’s Órfhlaith Begley has welcomed confirmation of a significant funding package to improve mobile phone coverage in rural parts of West Tyrone. 

The West Tyrone candidate said: 

“I led a party delegation that met with Vanessa Higham, Government Affairs Manager of Vodafone to discuss wider plans for improving provision in the many ‘notspots’ in West Tyrone. 

“At the meeting it was confirmed that a Shared Rural Network has now been put in place with Vodafone being joined by 3 other main providers: O2; EE and 3 in a €1.3bn partnership with government with the aim of providing 95% 4G coverage in ‘notspots’. 

“The project is now in its final stages of sign-off with work on the ground scheduled to start next year with working groups being set up to plan and prioritise the roll-out of the Rural Network Initiative. 

“Sinn Féin will submit a response to this working group on the basis that postcodes, many of which are in this constituency have little or no network coverage and should therefore be given priority.

“We made the case strongly that the north has proportionately more ‘notspots’ than other regions with rural areas of West Tyrone and west of the Bann being particularly affected.

“Sinn Féin pressed the case strongly that Vodafone along with other providers should prioritise the roll-out of the initiative in the north with first priority being given to worst ‘not spot’ areas.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Senator and spokesperson on North-South Integration Niall Ó Donnghaile has given a cautious welcome to today’s announcement that Cabinet have agreed to carry out a feasibility plan into a high speed train between Belfast and Dublin, reducing travel time to one hour. 

Speaking in the Seanad this afternoon Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;

“The proposed high-speed rail link between Belfast and Dublin is a crucial piece of transport infrastructure. Many groups and organisations along the border-corridor have been working diligently and collaboratively to help deliver this project but government of course have the lead role in ensuring its delivery. 

"Reducing travel time to one hour is critical to developing jobs and investment along the Dublin to Belfast corridor.

“I call on government to now urgently convene the relevant stakeholders, including local councils, chambers of commerce, tourism agencies as well as political representatives, to discuss the necessary next steps on this matter. 

“Belfast City Council have already agreed to carry out a similar feasibility plan and it is crucial that all the relevant agencies work together to ensure the arrival on this necessary piece of infrastructure.

"Sinn Féin is working towards the restoration of the Assembly and Executive in the weeks ahead if a fair agreement can be reached and this project will be key to delivery.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Housing spokesperson Eoin Ó Broin TD has called on all TDs including those elected in Friday’s by-election to support the no confidence motion in the Minister for Housing next week as this government has run out of time and ideas to tackle the housing crisis.  

Speaking during leaders’ questions in the Dáil today Deputy Ó Broin said:

“This morning’s newspapers are once again filled with horror stories of the impact of the government’s housing policy on children across the State.

“The government’s housing policy is now in is fourth year and is simply not delivering.

“The problem has gotten worse and for the many families, young people and pensioners their housing situation is grimmer than ever.

“Sinn Féin will wholeheartedly support the motion of no confidence in the Minister for Housing next week.

“All opposition TDs including those elected in this Fridays by-election have to make it clear where they stand. Are they on the side of homeless children or on the side of Minister Eoghan Murphy?

“By-election candidates need to make clear where they stand on this issue so the voters can decide whether to vote for candidates who support Eoghan Murphy and Rebuilding Ireland, or those who want a housing policy that meets the needs of those waiting for social and affordable homes.

“Fianna Fáil need to stop hiding behind Brexit as an excuse for doing their job and must start holding this government to account. It is time for Fianna Fáil to decide who’s side they are on, those struggling through the housing crisis or Minister Murphy?

Toggle

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Agriculture Brian Stanley TD has called on Leo Varadkar to urgently engage with farmers in the beef sector.
 
Deputy Stanley was speaking in the Dáil this morning in relation to ongoing protests by beef farmers over a lack of progress in the beef sector.
 
Speaking earlier, Deputy Stanley said:
 
“It’s been over 6 weeks since the Beef Taskforce was supposed to have met and there has been no progress made.

“Fine Gael Minsiter Creed has sat on his hands and kicked the issue to touch claiming that ongoing issues are a matter for the courts and for the independent chairman of the Beef Taskforce.
 
“This is unacceptable. We need government to take a proactive stance to deal with these matters.
 
“The Beef Sector is in a crisis right now and we need the Taosieach to step in and save an the industry.
 
“We need to see the Beef Taskforce up and running again and that means all of the injunctions must being dropped.
 
“There can’t be a fair level playing field between factories and farmers while one side has legal action out on the other.
 
“We need to see Minister Creed and the Taoiseach getting off their hands and engaging with the different stakeholders because we’re at a standstill right now – as is much of Dublin today and last night.
 
“The protests which we have witnessed are as a direct result of the frustration and anger beef farmers are feeling with the lack of progress.
 
“We’re also calling on Fianna Fáil to speak up and to support Sinn Féin’s Beef Price Transparency Bill which would give transparency right throughout the supply chain to ensure everyone knows they are being given a fair price for their produce.” 

Toggle

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate Action David Cullinane has said the government is ignoring the voices of ordinary workers in its just transition and in the process, it is alienating communities. A new approach is needed, he added, one that is democratic and inclusive.

Speaking at the launch of a discussion document on climate justice and a just transition, Deputy Cullinane said:

“Last week it emerged that Bord na Móna will not engage in an industrial relations forum with its employees.

“ICTU have called on the company to utilise the services of the Workplace Relations Commission to deal with the issues arising from the planned closure of two power stations in the midlands.

“On top of this, the government have appointed a Just Transition Commissioner, but have explicitly ruled out that office having any role in industrial relations matters and the difficulties faced by workers.

“These are concerning developments.

“Without a government policy that is framed by climate justice and democratic principles, the leadership and direction of climate action will become industry-focused rather than community-focused.

“We cannot allow corporate interests to push the cost of climate action onto the shoulders of ordinary communities the same way they treated the cost of global warming and pollution.

“Sinn Féin is committed to climate justice and a just transition in Ireland, north and south.

“This means a fairer and more democratic society, one which protects workers’ rights and empowers communities with more input and control over their future.

“The document I have launched today, along with my colleague Caoimhe Archibald, sets out our guiding principles and core policy framework.

“No workers or communities can be left behind in the move away from peat and coal use and into renewable energy.

“We need to ensure that the principles of climate justice and a just transition run through everything we do going forward.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin's Elisha McCallion has lobbied the Irish government for funding for the A5 road upgrade and the expansion of Magee.  

The Foyle candidate said:

"I was in Dublin today where I raised the need for funding for the vital A5 upgrade project with the Irish government's transport minister. 

"I also took the opportunity to press the education minister on the need for progress on the expansion of Magee. 

"The Irish government have an important role to play in assisting the growth and development of the wider north west region and I will continue to challenge them to deliver that."

Toggle

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill led a delegation to meet with the Irish Government in Dublin earlier.  

Speaking afterwards Michelle O'Neill says, 

"We told the Taoiseach that urgency is required to conclude the talks if we are to restore the Assembly in the coming weeks.

"We restated our commitment to achieving restoration of the Assembly.

"We agreed that key to any agreement is resolving the outstanding issues which lie at the heart of the talks.

"We agree the people of the North need and deserve good government, but it must be one which is credible and sustainable.

She added, "Sinn Féin stands ready to re-enter talks in the coming weeks and will work with all parties and both governments to reach a fair agreement.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill led a delegation to meet with the Irish Government in Dublin earlier.  

Speaking afterwards, Michelle O'Neill said;

"We told the Taoiseach that urgency is required to conclude the Talks if we are to restore the Assembly in the coming weeks.

"We restated our commitment to achieving restoration of the Assembly.

"We agreed that key to any agreement is resolving the outstanding issues which lie at the heart of the Talks.

"We agree that the people of the North need and deserve good government, but that it must be one which is credible and sustainable.

She added, "Sinn Féin stands ready to re-enter Talks in the coming weeks and will work with all parties and both governments to reach a fair agreement."

Toggle

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O'Neill led a delegation to meet with the Irish Government in Dublin earlier.  

Speaking afterwards, Michelle O'Neill said;

"We told the Taoiseach that urgency is required to conclude the Talks if we are to restore the Assembly in the coming weeks.

"We restated our commitment to achieving restoration of the Assembly.

"We agreed that key to any agreement is resolving the outstanding issues which lie at the heart of the Talks.

"We agree that the people of the North need and deserve good government, but that it must be one which is credible and sustainable.

She added, "Sinn Féin stands ready to re-enter Talks in the coming weeks and will work with all parties and both governments to reach a fair agreement."

Toggle

Sinn Fein Senator Paul Gavan has called on the Government to “completely rethink” the proposed Retention of Records Bill.

This Bill provides for the retention, sealing and withholding from public inspection of records with regard to survivors of state and church abuse for a period of no less than 75 years and for the confidential disposal of any records not transferring to the National Archives. 

Speaking after an Oireachtas Education Committee Hearing at which survivors of state and church abuse had spoken out strongly against the Bill, Senator Gavan said;

“We have heard passionate testimony from survivors of state and church abuse who told us directly that if this bill passes it would make survivors of the industrial schools invisible once more.

“We also heard from academics and legal experts who told us that there was in fact no need for the bill at all, and that the proposed bill flies in the face of existing European legislation regarding personal data.

“The Department of Education has stated that the aim of this legislation was to strike a balance between those who gave evidence to the commission and redress bodies, and the need to never forget the harm that was done.

“Unfortunately the balance the Department of Education has chosen to strike is 100% in favour of silence and 0% in favour of victims”

“I am calling for the Government to completely re-think this legislation. Instead of this clumsy attempt to silence survivors we need action to ensure that the records of religious congregations who ran the institutions should be brought under the aegis of the state.

“The Department of Education should be assisting survivors of abuse by shining a light on records still kept by these institutions, rather than attempting to silence survivors and shut down debate.

“This proposed legislation is akin to the type of far-right politics we see raising its ugly head in certain parts of Eastern Europe. It has no place in this state.”

ENDS

Toggle

Sinn Féin South Antrim MLA, and Westminster candidate, Declan Kearney has condemned a shooting in Crumlin’s Main Street in the early hours of this morning.

Declan Kearney said,

“People in Crumlin are in shock this morning following a shooting incident in Main Street late last night.

“A number of shots were fired at a business premises in the early hours of this morning, and whilst no one was injured during the incident, it has been met with shock and disbelief by the local community.

“I unreservedly condemn the use of firearms on our streets. This incident has served only to instil fear in the local community and has caused disruption to residents during the follow up police operation.

“I appeal to anyone with information concerning this incident to assist the PSNI in their investigation.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin TD’s Seán Crowe and Kathleen Funchion have published legislation to make it mandatory for dog owners to carry litter bags.

Deputy Crowe said;

“This is an important and serious health issue which is constantly raised by constituents on the doors, in clinics and even when just out walking about.

“Despite the introduction of the law making it an offence to not pick up your dog’s litter, our parks and communities are still littered with dog excrement.

“This is partially because wardens have to actually witness a dog fouling and the person responsible leaving the dog’s waste behind in order to impose a penalty.

“A small minority of dog owners simply don't give a damn what their dog does and have no real fear of being caught under the current legislation.

“This is also a serious public health issue as dog litter carries disease which can lead to fever, cough or wheezing, enlarged liver, rash or swollen lymph nodes and even blindness.

“If a child or an adult gets this on their skin they could potentially be damaged for life.

“This new legislation makes it easier for wardens to impose fines on irresponsible dog owners by making it an offence to be in charge of a dog in public without having a suitable bag or instrument to properly dispose of its waste.

“So it’s time literally to cut the shit and clamp down on the small but significant group of irresponsible dog owners who continue to destroy and pollute our communities.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD has responded to comments made by Professor Christian Kastrop, a former official in the German Finance ministry and former President of the Economic Policy Committee of the Council of European Finance and Economic Ministers.

The former official said that the Irish people were hit with unjustifiably harsh austerity measures following the financial collapse as a result of ideology.

Speaking today, the Donegal TD said:

“The comments made by Professor Kastrop, a former high-ranking Finance official in Berlin and Europe will be of little consolation for those workers and families who have suffered under the long years of austerity.

“We still live with the scars of the austerity measures and cuts that were inflicted on the Irish people by the Fine Gael and Labour Government, with a recovery that that has failed to carry those who suffered the most.

“Our public finances are still saddled with the bankers’ debt that Fianna Fáil foisted on the Irish people.

“A recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General found that the outstanding cost of the bank bailout is €42 billion. It will cost the Irish people €1 billion a year to service this debt for the foreseeable future; money that could otherwise be spent on public services and priorities of the people.

“What this and the comments of Professor Kastrop make clear, is that the losers of the crash and years that followed were the workers and families of this country, who have been badly served during the past decade.

“His comments vindicate the positions that we in Sinn Féin took in the long years of austerity. Austerity policies were not only socially devastating and morally reprehensible, but as he acknowledges, purely ideological.

“The best way to hurt an already hurting economy is to impose austerity. That was true then and is true still.

“I welcome the former officials warning regarding the EU fiscal rules, which he said, may ‘mutate into a monster’.

“The fiscal rules are not fit for purpose, especially as we seek to respond to the climate crisis. The challenges we face require big ideas and radical investment.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Cllr for Dublin Mid-West Mark Ward has welcomed the news that Lucan and North Clondalkin are back on the Ballymore Eustace Water Supply, and has urged Irish Water to make this a permanent fixture going forward.

Speaking today, the Dublin Mid-West by-election candidate said;

“I want to welcome the news that North Clondalkin and Lucan are finally back on the Ballymore Eustace water supply. This is long overdue and long may it last.

“In the aftermath of Storm Emma in March 2018, Irish Water switched the supply of water to parts of Clondalkin and Lucan from Ballymore Eustace to Leixlip water treatment plant on a temporary basis.

"This decision was made after the cold snap led to burst pipes due to poor investment in water infrastructure.

“These areas were then left in short supply and restricted access to water. Twenty months later and this temporary measure has finally been resolved

“Residents across Clondalkin and Lucan raised concerns about the change in quality of water. This has led to complaints in increased turbidity. Turbidity is a measure of the total suspended solids in the water, the murkier it seems, the higher the turbidity levels.

“In addition to changing how the water looks there had also been numerous reports of grit particles and a change of taste to the water, with scum like substances appearing.

"The hard water from Leixlip also damaged electrical appliances such as kettles and showers. The reality is, some residents were forced to buy bottled water well before the boil water notices were even announced.

“There is enough water in Ballymore Eustace which is supplied by Poulaphouca hydro station to supply the whole of South County Dublin, if seasonally adjusted.

“I am calling on Irish Water and the Department of Local Government to invest in our water infrastructure to ensure that people will no longer be faced with sub-standard water services.

“The people in Clondalkin, Lucan and Palmerstown can finally return to the quality of water that they originally enjoyed and deserve.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin health spokesperson Deputy Louise O’Reilly has said the postponing of surgeries for children at the three main children’s hospitals due to winter pressures is evidence of the damage that eight years of Fine Gael in government has done to the health service.

Speaking this morning, Teachta O’Reilly said:

“Reports this morning that the main children’s hospitals in the State have begun to postpone elective surgeries for children due to the pressure they and their staff are under shows the depths Fine Gael have driven the health service to.

“There are around 86,625 children waiting to see a specialist in hospitals across the State, many for essential surgery; 46,000 of these are based in the three main children’s hospitals.

“I understand that postponing surgery is necessary due to how dangerous things are in these hospitals for patients and staff. However, the cancelled surgeries will increase the numbers on these waiting lists as well as the length of time the children have to wait.

“The hospitals are crippled due to a lack of nurses and a lack of consultant doctors across a range of specialties – the Unions representing frontline medical staff have been raising this issue for years, but it has not been addressed.

“The government have rolled out the usual lines that the flu is responsible for the pressure on the hospitals.

“We have had eight years of Fine Gael control of the health service with the last four budgets agreed with Fianna Fáil and they are still surprised by the flu and winter related illnesses arriving in winter – pathetic."

Toggle

Sinn Féin Higher and Further Education spokesperson, Maolíosa McHugh MLA, has today voiced the party's strong support for striking staff in the University and Colleges Union (UCU).

The West Tyrone MLA said:

"Sinn Féin stand unequivocally behind staff in Queen's University Belfast and Ulster University striking today for fairer pension contributions, and better pay and conditions.

"Academic staff in our local institutions perform a vital service for our students and are invaluable to the economic and social wellbeing of our society. It is paramount that they are valued and listened to.

"We urge Universities UK to engage with striking staff to bring this dispute to an end.

"We also call on local universities to use their influence within Universities UK to encourage meaningful negotiations in order to bring about a fair and acceptable resolution."

Toggle

Sinn Féin MLA Carál Ní Chuilín has condemned those behind attacks on cars outside Seaview Stadium on Monday night. 

The North Belfast MLA said: 

“Three cars were attacked and had their windows smashed tonight outside Seaview Stadium following a match between Belfast Celtic and Newington FC. 

“I condemn those behind these attacks on property – there is no place for it. 

“There has been a lot of hard work to build relations through the sharing of facilities and this type of activity will only cause anger in the community. 

“Police are now reviewing footage and I would appeal to anyone with information to report it.”

Toggle

Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill has said there should be zero tolerance for online abuse against election candidates. 

Michelle O’Neill said: 

“Those in public life are often targeted with online abuse, threats, harassment and intimidation and it is often women who are targeted most but no matter how often it occurs it should never be tolerated. 

“My colleague Elisha McCallion has been the victim of such online abuse, particularly in recent days, and much of it has been vile, disgusting, misogynistic abuse. 

“No one, including public representatives, should be expected to put up with this. 

“Elisha has children who should not be exposed to abuse like this so publicly directed at their mother. 

“No one should have to face this type of abuse and I would call on all those in public life, from across all parties to come together and to condemn it so those responsible are sent a clear message that it will not be tolerated.” 

Connect with Sinn Féin